FileCatalyst Webmail: Large Attachments

Transferring a large volume of files to publishers located all over the world, combined with the burden of managing multiple FTP sites and accounts, was becoming a challenge for both production and IT departments. FileCatalyst’s ease of use, self-service, and effortless management helped tremendously in removing deadline pressures.

—Stéphane Magnan, IT Director, Behaviour Interactive

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The Benefits of Email...

Email is the most common and accessible way to send a file. Email attachments are very convenient: set your recipient's address, attach a file, write a message, and click “send”. No wonder most documents are exchanged via email. However, it's slow. And worse yet, you are limited to attachments totalling 10MB or less.

...With No Restrictions

FileCatalyst Webmail lets you send files of any size to anyone in the world, using only their email address. Need speed? Add FileCatalyst acceleration to your Webmail deployment, and send files at speeds up to hundreds of times faster than FTP.

Large Email Attachments via the Web

FileCatalyst Webmail allows you to hand off the "file handling" portion of your email process to a FileCatalyst Server. This relieves burden on your SMTP (mail) server, and allows exended functionality that email alone cannot offer. Here's one of the basic scenarios in which FileCatalyst Webmail handles the “large email attachment” process.

Webmail Large Email Attachment Scenario

The Sender:

  1. logs into their account, and chooses to start a “New Upload”.
  2. fills out a form that can be as simple as completing the “To” and “Message” fields; though—unlike email—the Administrator can also create custom fields.
  3. clicks a button to upload files—this is the “attaching” phase.
  4. presses “Finish”, which is the same as clicking “Send” in an email.

Once this process is complete, a record is made which is accessible by the user or the administrator, containing details about the transaction (including downloading activity when it occurs), and links to the file for direct access or re-sending.

The Recipient:

  1. gets an email notifying them there is a file delivery to be picked up.
  2. follows a link in the email, which takes them to a download page.
  3. clicks a “Download” button to receive the files. Directory structures remain intact, unlike downloading multiple attachments in an email.

Large Email Attachments via the Outlook Plugin

FileCatalyst Webmail is already easy as sending an email. With the optional plugin for Microsoft® Outlook™, users don't even need to leave their email client. Instead of clicking their “New Email” button, they click the FileCatalyst icon; the rest of the steps are as per above.

The plugin inherits one of the major benefits of the web portal, unique to FileCatalyst: the ability for administrators to dynamically update forms for all users at once. Whenever the administrator makes changes (perhaps adding a new field to collect additional information), Outlook Plugin users have immediate access to the new form.

Automating Large Email Attachments with HotFolder

The web application creates an experience almost identical to sending a standard email. With the optional HotFolder component, a completely new approach can be taken, automating the sending of large email attachments.

The Sender:

  1. installs the HotFolder Application
  2. creates a scheduled Upload “task”, directed to the Webmail URL
  3. selects a folder to be “watched” for changes.
  4. updates or adds new files to this folder. At the scheduled time (as quickly as once per minute!) HotFolder checks the watched folder, sees the new file, and automatically sends the file.

The Recipient:

Follows the same steps as they do for files sent via the Web.

The initial setup of the HotFolder is more involved than simply using the web application. However, the payoff is that transfers become automated, requiring nothing further from the end user other than dropping files into one of their “hot” folders.